Things to do in Paso Robles

Surrounded by lush vineyards and oak-studded hills, Paso Robles is as welcoming as it is beautiful. Whether you seek a tried-and-true wine tasting experience, yearn to ride horseback along scenic ranchland or simply wish to relax in a soothing hot spring tub, there’s many ways to play and unwind in Paso. Home to a fantastic farm-to-table dining scene, argitourism experiences and a colorful Mid-State fair, you’ll never run out of fun activities to enjoy in El Paso de Robles, a.k.a. “The Pass of the Oaks.”

Explore Paso Robles

Wine tasting

Paso Robles wine tasting is a multifaceted experience. Paso Robles Wine Country is known worldwide for its incredible wines, many on par with those produced in Europe. Home to more than 250 tasting rooms and dozens of microclimates and winegrape varietals, there’s something for everyone to taste. Featuring several unique wine trails spanning the dusty backroads of Highway 46 East to the undulating hillsides of Highway 46 West, you can build a tasting experience that’s right for you. Looking for someone to help guide you through your next wine country getaway? Check out the friendly tour guides at Uncorked Wine Tours and Wine Line and 101 Wine Tours. Whether you’re a newbie or a wine aficionado, you’ll be happy to hand over the keys and allow experts to take the wheel.

Daou Winery Paso Robles
Vineyard views out at Daou Winery

Paso Wine Festival

Known locally as simply “The Wine Festival” or “Paso Wine Fest,” The Paso Wine Festival is held annually at the Mid-State Fairgrounds each May. This time-honored event features more than 100 local wineries from the Paso Robles Wine Region all pouring exclusive releases, single varietal offerings and exciting blends. With bands providing live music on multiple stages, a live DJ, and incredible food to savor, you’re invited to spend the day sipping and swirling to your heart’s content. Ready to kick back and enjoy some Paso wine? Bring a blanket or a low back chair and relax along one of the many grassy areas provided.

Wine Tasting Talley Vineyards
Enjoy a glass of local wine at the Paso Wine Festival

Mid-State Fair

The California Mid-State Fair is not to be missed on your next Paso Robles vacation. An exuberant summer tradition, the fair offers up a whirlwind of food, games and fun in Paso Robles each July. Since 1946, locals and visitors alike have flocked to the Mid-State Fairgrounds to enjoy twelve action-packed days of incredible entertainment and community spirit. Home to a carnival, concerts, rodeo, livestock auctions, exhibits, shopping and so much more, there’s never a dull moment at the Mid-State Fair. Ready to ride? The carnival offers rides for all ages, and even the littlest fair-goers can enjoy a thrill thanks to the Cub Country kiddie area. Known for hosting major music artists on the main stage–including Aerosmith, Journey, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Carlos Santana–you’ll find an impressive lineup of bands playing each year. Love gardening, crafts and DIY projects? Home-grown contests, including apple pie baking, salsa making, floriculture, photography, winemaking, home brewing are all showcased at the fair. Plus, check out a slew of fascinating exhibits while you’re there: The Ponderosa building features locally grown produce; an art gallery is dedicated to local photographs and paintings; and the flower building offers up locally grown flowers and plants in all their colorful splendor. Truly, there’s an exhibit for everyone: the Frontier Pavilion features handcrafted quilts and clothing–and for those who love to shop–a variety of unique vendors are on-hand with all kinds of enchanting treasures.

Downtown City Park

Located in the heart of downtown Paso Robles, Downtown City Park is dotted with oak trees and filled with the sound of happy children at play. Home to the local Historical Society, the Carnegie Library Building is located in the center of the park and is widely considered the anchor of downtown. Playing host to a variety of events–including the Paso Wine Festival, car shows and other events–you can always find something fun going on in the park. Revamped in 2016, the park’s popular playground features two sections: one for ages 5-12 and one for ages 6-23 months. Ready to groove to some music? The Concerts in the Park program offers a carefree way to enjoy outdoor entertainment under the oaks from 6-8 p.m. each Thursday night July through August. The Farmers Market kicks off in Downtown City Park each Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Explore a range of local produce and artisanal goods all in one convenient setting. With stalls overflowing with fresh fruits and veggies, honey, organic juices, fresh-baked breads, handmade salsas, flowers and olive oils, you can taste what makes Paso Robles so delicious. Plus, local prepared food vendors are always on-hand to feed your craving for something hot and juicy.

Paso Robles Downtown
Downtown Paso Robles


Paso Robles boasts a wide variety of shopping opportunities all within walking distance of Downtown City Park. Boutiques specialize in clothing, gifts, antiques, art and more. The General Store offers up all things “tasty, lovely and useful,” with a keen focus on Paso Robles-sourced goods. Check out regional pantry goods like olive oil, vinegar, almonds, hot sauce and honey as well as local seasonings, coffee, tea and sweets. Home goods—including tableware, kitchen tools, décor and bar accessories—can also be found here. In addition, you can shop a selection of self care items ranging from candles and bath soaks to oils and incense. If cookbooks, puzzles and games are more your thing, you’re in luck: The General Store carries all this and more.

Reminisce – Village of Shops

Described as a “village of shops,” Reminisce contains a multitude of stalls selling second hand and handcrafted treasures. Located on the corner of Pine and 14 Streets in downtown Paso Robles, explore a wonderland of antiques, collectibles, jewelry, accessories, infant wear, baby gifts and home décor. Whether you’re looking for rehabbed and original vintage home furnishings or industrial, steampunk and shabby chic treasures you’ll find inspiration here. Working on a home improvement project? Keep an eye out for architectural salvage pieces, including doors, windows and shutters. Home to more than 20 vendors and artisans, you’ll experience the passion and skill of local artisans, tinkerers and collectors all in one dynamic setting.

Studios on the Park

Located in the heart of downtown Paso Robles, Studios on the Park is ground zero for creativity of all kinds. This nonprofit art studio showcases several galleries dedicated to mediums like printmaking, photography and more. Make your way through the SLO County Office of Education Gallery featuring student-made works and be sure to stop by the Paso Robles Art Association Showroom, where there’s always more to see. Meanwhile, the Atrium Gallery, a public exhibition space, features an ever-evolving lineup of new and exciting pieces. Want to get your hands dirty with paint or pastels? Whether you’re a skilled artist or a total newbie, Studios on the Park’s classes and workshops are designed to accommodate all ages and walks of life.

Studios on the Park
The Studios on the Park Art Gallery


Combining a mixture of whimsey and fashion, Bijou is downtown Paso’s go-to shop for stellar outfits and gift items. Prepare for a girl’s night out or a special date night with a selection of timeless women’s fashions, including American, Australian and European designer goods. Looking for that special gift for a baby shower, wedding or birthday? Allow Bijou’s friendly staff to help you find the perfect token of your appreciation.


Paso Robles dining combines fresh ingredients with worldly cuisines. A delicious selection of dining and tasting options are available in downtown Paso Robles, including French, Italian, Mediterranean and more. Enjoy seasonal, farmer’s-market plates at Thomas Hill Organics; savor sushi and Japanese favorites at Goshi; enjoy upscale French cooking at BL Brasserie or dig into a perfectly-cooked cut of beef at The Steakhouse. Whether you dine in Paso Robles, you’re sure to find local ingredients and wine paired with a heaping side of hospitality.

Thomas Hill Organics in Downtown Paso

Tin City

Tin City represents the cutting edge of Paso Robles’ ever-evolving culinary and craft libation scene. Folks in the know will tell you that this small industrial maker’s market is home to amazing food, wine, beer and cider. Housed in a hip industrial park located just outside the downtown area, park anywhere and easily traverse the “city” on foot. Serving up cold craft beer with a slice of live entertainment, Barrelhouse Brewing Co. is at the heart of this energetic community. Hungry? Restaurants like McPhees Canteen and Six Test Kitchen are on-hand to elevate your supper to new heights. Want to learn more about Tin City? A recent documentary of the same name shines light onto this multifaceted culinary playground.

Barrelhouse Brewing Co
Grab a pint in Tin City at Barrelhouse Brewing Co.

Vina Robles Amphitheater

Operated by Vina Robles Vineyards and Winery, Vina Robles Amphitheater is the premiere outdoor venue for national touring acts. Originally part of the winery’s humble summer concert series, the venue has expanded to encompass a modern amphitheater. One of the largest venues for arts and entertainment in all of San Luis Obispo County, patrons can enjoy open air performances under a canopy of twinkling stars. The concert season runs from April through November with seating options that include stadium seats, a grass area and VIP boxes.

Vina Robles amphitheatre
An outdoor concert at Vina Robles Amphitheater

Horseback Rides

Central Coast Trail Rides

Horseback riding in Paso Robles is always an adventure. Hop into the saddle with a guided horseback ride through Paso Robles’ stunning countryside and you’ll understand the meaning of freedom. Central Coast Trail Rides guides folks of all skill levels through vineyards and ranchland, so you need not worry about prior experience. In fact, young children, senior citizens and people of all body sizes are welcome to enjoy the ride. Choose a range of trail locations, including Cass Vineyard, Fableist Wine Co, Santa Margarita Lake and customizable options, too.

Paso Robles Vineyards
Roam the trails on horseback through the Paso countryside


Paso Robles golf courses abound, allowing you to tee off anytime. Practice your swing at the newly renovated 19-hole, par 70 Paso Golf Club, a local favorite. With lovely views, Hunter Ranch Golf Course boasts an 18-hole championship course perched at the highest point in Paso Robles. The nearby Links Course is an 18 hole, par 72 course surrounded by sprawling vineyards and wineries. River Oaks also offers up a rousing game of golf: The 6-hole “player development course” offers up three sets of tees with different angles of approach and distance, giving each player a full 18 hole experience.

golf ball on tee
Come and play a round at a Paso Robles Golf Course

Water Slides

The Ravine Water Park

The Ravine Water Park is designed to help your family cool off in a fun environment. Opened in 2007, the park is regularly updated with new water slides. Located in the heart of wine country and surrounded by vineyards and golf courses, plan to spend the day enjoying the many slides and scenic setting. With short lines, a food and drink menu and cabanas perfect for lounging, you’ll find that the hours fly by. Plus, with a wide selection of attractions ready to thrill all ages, everyone can enjoy the plunge.

Family fun out at the Ravine Water Park

The Lakes

San Antonio

Lake San Antonio provides a thousand ways to soak up the sun in Paso Robles. With two recreational areas–North Shore and South Shore–you’ll enjoy the water as well as the shore. Where to start? South Shore boasts more than 26 miles of terrain, attracting horseback riding and mountain biking enthusiasts. In fact, the area is home to the Wildflower Triathlon, one of the largest triathlon events in the world. Birding is a popular pastime at the lake, with golden eagles, grebes, red-tailed hawks, swans and coots calling the habitat home. You can even spot Bald Eagles if you’re lucky (up your chances with the help of Eagle Watching Tours). With more than 500 campsites, pitch your tent among the oaks or along the water’s edge. Lake San Antonio remains one of the only places in California where shoreline camping is permitted, making this a popular destination, indeed.


Lake Nacimiento is the perfect location for watersports and lakeside fun in Paso Robles. Often referred to as “Nassi, and “The Dragon lake,” due to its unique shape, you’ll find hundreds of inlets and coves perfect for hanging out and enjoying the water. Featuring more than 5,000 surface acres and surrounded by 165 miles of shoreline, you’ll find an oasis encompassed by wilderness, mountains, river canyons and oak and pine forests. Need supplies? A year-round general store (open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) offers groceries, beer, wine, ice, fishing licenses, clothing, camping supplies and souvenirs. Enjoy a day of jetskiing, wakesurfing or tubing along the water: you choose your adventure. The lake even features its own designated ski and wakeboard slalom course, the latter of which has been in continuous operation since 1979. Want to socialize with friends and family on the water? “The Narrows” provides a low speed sanctuary where boats can be tethered together for an impromptu party (holiday weekends are particularly popular times for this kind of fun). Along the way, check out plenty of opportunities to cliff jump, fish or simply bask in the sun.

Lopez Lake
Spend the day cruising the lakes of Paso

Hot Springs

Hot Springs have been enjoyed in Paso Robles for centuries, enchanting both Native American residents and subsequent settlers. In fact, Paso Robles was once called “Hot Springs,” an homage to the soothing pools of water known to bubble from the earth. For this reason, much of the city was constructed around the hot springs, which became a significant tourist attraction. Today, the hot springs are capped, allowing just two locations offering the hot mineral water: River Oaks Hot Springs, a luxurious resort, and Franklin Hot Springs, which provides a more casual, family-friendly experience.

Field of Lights Sensorio

Field of Lights Sensorio is a sight to behold, featuring more than 15 acres of solar powered lights in rural Paso Robles. Launched by artist Bruce Murno in 2019, the art installation stretches through the rolling hills of wine country, making for a grand-scale spectacle, indeed. Murno’s largest exhibit to date, the artist included light towers to the destination in 2021. Viewed at night, visitors are privy to an illuminated wonderland that must be seen to be believed.

Sensorio Paso Robles
A magical display at the Field of Lights Sensorio

The Missions

Paso Robles encourages visitors to step into California’s rich Mission history. Located just north of Paso Robles in the small town of San Miguel, Mission San Miguel is a state and national historic landmark–one of only seven such mission landmarks in the state. Built more than 200 years ago in an effort to close the gap between Mission San Antonio to the north and Mission San Luis Obispo to the south, this historical relic is emblazoned with original frescos painted by early Salinan artists. In fact, the inside of the mission’s church has never been repainted, allowing visitors to catch a rare glimpse of early California history. Want to see for yourself? Self-guided museum tours are available daily and docent-led tours can be scheduled up to three weeks in advance. Further north, you’ll find Mission San Antonio de Padua, located just past Fort Hunter Liggett. If you’re headed to nearby Lake San Antonio, you’ll want to stop at this historic site, which is off the beaten path for most travelers passing through.